Other Dragons Need Honor Too
Osoth, Tultamaan, Charimaan, Yarenton, and Katamerces were in this faction, and Quel Quen and Hhreamsen joined it later. They argued that it is wholly unfair for one’s basic honor in life to be tied to one’s mating flight. If one is not that interested in the available dragonesses, or disinclined towards marriage, one may lose easily enough: but this may not reflect one’s innate capacity for honor.
Thus, any sort of dragon whatsoever may well want to undertake endeavours which bring honor. This includes drakes like Osoth and Tultamaan, who have no wish to marry other drakes and, for Osoth, not even dragonesses.
Exploring Is Not A Contest
Nearly everyone jumped on me on this point, even Nrararn, who ought to be an ally. A normal mating flight is structured as a grand competition: each dragon is the enemy of every dragon of the same sex. No urning mating flight has ever happened, so we do not know how the competition would work there. But assuredly it would be a competition, and probably every drake against every other.
This guarantees disaster and doom for any sort of collaborative project! In the dangerous outer worlds, explorers must rely on each other for all manner of things, for safety and success. This could not possibly work if they were also whipped up to a height of competition and sexual jealousy!
The final decision was that my basic idea was good, but all the details were wrong. We, Ythac and I, will sponsor an exploring company. Quel Quen will advise us, but he does not want to participate. It will be a difficult exploration. We will take certain steps to make it more difficult: going further from the explored clusters of worlds than is strictly necessary, for example, and seeking in more exotic places.
So, if it comes back with any sort of success, everyone involved will return well-laden with honor.
There will be no particular attempt to make couples out of the participants. But they can do so themselves, and we generally anticipate that they will do so given whom will choose. Part of the welcoming-back ceremonies will include weddings: reformulated weddings which emphasize the achievements of the company as a whole and the couples in particular. Indeed, couples who were married beforehand may get the same opportunity: a re-wedding or rededication.
We gave Quel Quen many opportunities and openings to volunteer to be involved.
“It is an excellent idea to start a new adventuring company. I shall be glad to contribute a variety of useful advice,” said Quel Quen.
We gave him more openings and opportunities to volunteer.
“I’m sure that, should the explorers happen to wish to hear the word of experience, if not downright wisdom, they could speak or write to me and I would tell them things. Perhaps these things would be useful, and perhaps they would not, but they would be told. From my delightful castle on delightful and very homelike Hove. While I am retired.”
We pointed out very pointedly that all the positions of the expedition were open, and the salaries were likely to be very negotiable indeed.
“What an excellent set of circumstances for those who wish to go adventuring!” said Quel Quen.
Eventually we stopped pestering the one person in all the dragon-worlds who had actual skill and experience organizing and conducting cross-world expeditions.
“Osoth, I had hoped that Quel Quen would lead the expedition, and that you would be the chief scientist and investigator,” I said.
“Fortunately she did not ask me about this hope, or I would have rejected half of it,” said Quel Quen.
“As it is: what do you think about leading the whole expedition?”
“I have lead archaeological and necromantic parties to the dismal parts of Hove,” said Osoth. “It is not the same thing at all, since the parties consisted largely of hovens, and this will consist largely of dragons. At least the dragons will take care of themselves better. They will also quarrel with me more, especially the larger ones, and I am not the best one for defeating the Llredhs and Yarentons in duels.” Llredh and Yarenton being the largest two drakes in the room.
“So you refuse?”
“I accept, contingently. I must acquire guards who have great personal loyalty to me and to whom I can refer any duels that arise.